The local community has helped Gahanna Residents In Need provide Thanksgiving meals to about 100 families.
Volunteers from GRIN distributed about 100 boxes of food from the pantry at Mifflin Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Nov. 17, to local families who need help.
"Clients get nonperishables from the pantry (and) then go to a truck to get pies, turkeys and the things that need refrigerated," GRIN volunteer Sandy Weber said.
The food boxes include typical Thanksgiving staples, such as milk, butter, pumpkin pie with topping, cans of green beans or corn, cream of mushroom soup, dressing, gravy, potatoes, marshmallows, cereal, pancake mix and syrup, and cranberries.
Bob Evans also supplies GRIN with about 25 boxed Thanksgiving meals for those who sought assistance after the deadline.
"Clients will get an envelope and pick up meals at Bob Evans," Weber said. "They provide beautiful packages for six to eight people. Most of the clients also want to be adopted for Christmas presents for the children. We're just getting that together."
Aldi also assists GRIN with nonperishables for the Thanksgiving food boxes.
Anyone attending the Holiday Lights! parade Friday, Nov. 23, could drop off nonperishable food donations from 4 to 8 p.m. at Mifflin Presbyterian Church, 123 Granville St., where GRIN is housed.
Weber said the collection at the Holiday Lights! kickoff was sparse Nov. 10.
"Hopefully, we'll have a better collection at the church for the parade," she said. "The boxes will be in the front and back entrance of the church and marked GRIN."
Mifflin hosts a hospitality area, serving cookies and hot chocolate for the Holiday Lights! parade.
Weber said a collection from Gahanna Lincoln High School's National Honor Society on Halloween helped give the pantry a boost.
"Our pantry was pretty empty," she said. "They gave it a good boost. Different elementary schools are collecting. It starts coming in nicely."
Gretchen Hof, events coordinator for the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau, said she has been trying to get the word out about the canned-food drive.
"That's what the season is about, helping those in need," she said.
Those wanting to adopt a family for Christmas should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and specify the size of family they would like to adopt.
Gahanna Residents In Need, a communitywide, faith-based organization, was founded in 1998.
Anyone needing assistance first should call HandsOn Central Ohio at 614-221-2255 and then call GRIN at 614-471-4491, ext. 61.